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St. Petersburg artist Jon Hair, whose work includes oversized sculptures for the U.S. Olympic Committee, the cities of Beijing and Shanghai and universities, wants to help create a 108-foot-wide, 30-foot-high blue whale with other life-size marine life called Oceanica for the Pier District. [Courtesy of Jon Hair]

St. Petersburg art community divided over Pier project

ST. PETERSBURG — As the quest to commission the work of acclaimed artist Janet Echelman for the Pier pushes ahead, discontent simmers in art circles. The city's Public Arts Commission recently voted to put $37,500 toward an exploratory contract with Echelman, a step that could lead to one of her multimillion-dollar …

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